THE CHANGE MOVEMENT – The Fuel for Change #1

THE CHANGE MOVEMENT

The Fuel For Change (1)

INTRODUCTION

A. Keeping the church pure and true to the Book is taught
often in the New Testament

1. Ephesians 5:25-27

2. Titus 1:9, 13; 2:1

B. But there are those who are trying to restructure the church

1. Trying to change the church to fit modern culture and their
own desires

2. These are called “Change Agents”

C. In our last lesson we discussed the “Roots of Change”

1. We discussed cultural, theological, political and scientific
currents that are the roots of the present “Change Agent”
movement.

2. In this lesson we will discuss “The Fuel for Change”

3. One of the fuels for change is…

DISCUSSION

A. REBELLION

1. Israel had survived centuries of slavery and oppression
at the hands of Egypt.

a. They had escaped by the hand of God and now found
themselves in the Paran Desert anxiously awaiting news
from the spies sent to scout out Palestine

b. Numbers 13:30-33

c. The entire nation stayed up all night weeping – they
thought their national hopes and dreams were dashed,
and by morning they were making alternate plans to
appoint them new leaders who would lead them back to
Egypt

d. Joshua and Caleb spoke up – Numbers 14:7-9a

e. Their hesitation to comply with God’s instructions
amounted to rebellion

2. During the final year of his life, Moses, at the age of
120, he delivered a farewell address to the nation whom
he had served as leader for forty years

a. He wrote a song that was to serve as a sort of national
anthem to remind the people that their future
disobedience would inevitably bring them trouble

b. Deuteronomy 31:27

c. Their inconsistent compliance with God’s words
amounted to rebellion

3. God instructed Saul to engage Amalek in battle

a. They were to be completely annihilated

b. Saul complied with the order to go to war, but he
made some modifications to God’s instructions

c. God considered the compromise a failure to follow
Him

1) On the other hand Saul insisted that he had obeyed –
1 Samuel 15:13, 20)

2) He even presented his efforts as giving honor to God
– 1 Samuel 15:15, 21

d. Notice Samuel’s assessment – 1 Samuel 15:23

e. Saul’s failure to comply completely with God’s
instruction was an act of rebellion

4. While Zedekiah was king over the southern kingdom
of Judah, a prophet named Hananiah arose

a. The message he presented to the remaining inhabitants
of Jerusalem was a positive message optimism,
encouragement and reassurance

b. He assured them that within two years the Babylonian
oppressions would come to an end

c. There was great excitement, even Jeremiah was excited

d. However, God informed Jeremiah that Hananiah was a
false prophet, and was informed to make the following
pronouncement – Jeremiah 28:15-16

e. Hananiah died within two month. Why? Because he
promoted rebellion against God’s will

5. Looking back to the 1960s, one is surely struck by the fact
that rebellion was a central feature of what took place

a. Many of that younger generation created the generation
gap, anti-Establishment,  antiwar –

b. All this is nothing more than open rebellion against
authority

6. Presently we are seeing the fruits of the 1960s decade of
rebellion against authority

a. A full-scale breakdown of authority is in effect

b. America has more crime and more criminals than ever
before. What are criminals? People who refuse to submit
to the authority of the legal system

c. This lack of respect for authority is even seen in many of
our lawyers…always looking to beat the system/
technicalities

d. Teachers retiring early because of uncontrollable
classrooms

6.  Can we not see that the fuel for change in churches of
Christ is simply an extension of the widespread refusal
to submit to authority?

B. THE SHIFT TO EMOTION

1. Another factor which is fueling the push for change is the
extent to which emotion and feeling affect doctrine and
religious practice

a. Care must be taken to refrain from justifying
religious practices by confusing spirituality and
emotional sensation

b. The “Change Agents” equate emotion and feeling with
being spiritual

2. Many today are fashioning worship to suit what man
thinks and feels is spiritual.

a. But, my friends, the starting point is all wrong!

b. The “Change Agent” begins with human preferences
and builds his entire case on the need to cater to human
preferences so people can “experience” religion

3. The true meaning of spirituality

a. Biblical spirituality is not so much what one feels as
what one comes to know and do.

1) The “spiritual” person in the Bible is the one who
earnestly seeks to come to an understanding of God’s
will and then diligently obeys that will

2) Spirituality occurs through our response to Biblical
teaching

a) 1 Corinthians 2:13-15

b) 1 Corinthians 14:37

c) 1 Peter 2:2

b. Spiritual worship entails responding rationally to
God’s will – with worship that is approved by Him

1) Many are suggesting that our worship would be more
spiritual if we would “hold up holy hands,” have
dramatic presentation, etc.

2) They may create more excitement – but not more
spirituality

c. Those who wish to revolutionize worship practices
need to realize that this leads to ruin

1) Leviticus 10:1-3

2) Isaiah 30:9-13

3) Jeremiah 6:13-19

3. The interplay between emotion, reason and behavior

a. The conversion Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-39)
provides a good example…

1) Acts 8:26-30 – Notice first that Christianity is
first and foremost a cognitive experience –
Intellectual awareness, mental comprehension, must
occur first and must take priority over every facet of
religious experience

2) Acts 8:31-36 –  Notice that the second facet of
religious experience is an obedient response –
compliance with the stipulation of God

3) Acts 8:38-39 – Here is the proper place of
emotion in Christian religion

b. Here is the correct balance between human reason,
divine doctrine, and human emotion

1) Human emotion is to be brought under the control of
the human mind as that mind is governed by the words
of God

2) Emotion must be rooted in rationality

3) Rationality must take priority over emotion

CONCLUSION

 

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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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